Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli In His World


Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393609731
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 384
View: 6757

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The dramatic, myth-shattering story of how Machiavelli—arguably the most misunderstood thinker of all time—fought to change his corrupt world. Since the publication of The Prince five centuries ago, Machiavelli has been associated with political amorality. But that characterization is unfair. In Be Like the Fox, Erica Benner sets the record straight: far from the ruthless “Machiavellian” henchman that people think he was, Machiavelli emerges here as a profound ethical thinker who fought to uphold high moral standards and restore the democratic freedoms of his beloved Florence. Shaking the dust from history, Benner masterfully interweaves Machiavelli’s words with those of his friends and enemies, giving us a biography with all the energy of fiction. Through dialogues and diaries, we witness dramatic episodes, including Savonarola’s fiery sermons against the elite in Florence’s piazza, Machiavelli’s secret negotiations with Caterina Sforza at the court of Forlí, and the Florentines’ frantic preparations to resist Pope Julius’s plan to over-throw their Republic. Benner relates how Machiavelli rose as an advisor in the Florentine Republic, advancing the city’s interests as a diplomat and military strategist, only to become a political pariah when the Republic was defeated. His egalitarian politics made him an enemy of the Medici family, and his secular outlook put him at odds with religious zealots. But he soon learned to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of foxlike dissimulation. Machiavelli’s masterpiece, The Prince, was in fact a critique of princely power, but the critique had to be veiled, written as it was after the Medici triumphed over the Republic. In Be Like the Fox, the most accurate and compelling portrait of Machiavelli yet, Benner recounts the gripping story of a brilliant political thinker, showing that Machiavelli’s ideas—about democratic institutions, diplomacy, and freedom—are more important than ever.

BE LIKE THE FOX


Author: BENNER ERICA,Fellow in Ethics and Political Philosophy Erica Benner
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141974859
Category:
Page: 288
View: 2504

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LONGLISTED FOR THE HISTORICAL WRITERS' ASSOCIATION NON-FICTION CROWN 2017 'Lively, compulsively readable, fluently written and unshowily erudite' Guardian 'A gripping portrait of a brilliant political thinker, who understood the dangers of authoritarianism and looked for ways to curb them even though independent speech had become impossible' The New Yorker 'A ripping read . . . fascinating, charming, enjoyably unorthodox' Telegraph Niccol� Machiavelli lived in a fiercely competitive world, one where brute wealth, brazen liars and ruthless self-promoters seemed to carry off all the prizes; where the wealthy elite grew richer at the expense of their fellow citizens. In times like these, many looked to crusading religion to solve their problems, or they turned to a new breed of leaders - super-rich dynasties like the Medici or military strongmen like Cesare Borgia; upstarts from outside the old ruling classes. In the republic of Florence, Machiavelli and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to these new princes, or fight to save the city's democratic freedoms? Be Like the Fox follows Machiavelli's dramatic quest for political and human freedom through his own eyes. Masterfully interweaving his words with those of his friends and enemies, Erica Benner breathes life into his penetrating, comical, often surprising comments on events. Far from the cynical henchman people think he was, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of liberty, a profound ethical thinker who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.

Machiavelli's Ethics


Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400831849
Category: Philosophy
Page: 544
View: 2131

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Machiavelli's Ethics challenges the most entrenched understandings of Machiavelli, arguing that he was a moral and political philosopher who consistently favored the rule of law over that of men, that he had a coherent theory of justice, and that he did not defend the "Machiavellian" maxim that the ends justify the means. By carefully reconstructing the principled foundations of his political theory, Erica Benner gives the most complete account yet of Machiavelli's thought. She argues that his difficult and puzzling style of writing owes far more to ancient Greek sources than is usually recognized, as does his chief aim: to teach readers not how to produce deceptive political appearances and rhetoric, but how to see through them. Drawing on a close reading of Greek authors--including Thucydides, Xenophon, Plato, and Plutarch--Benner identifies a powerful and neglected key to understanding Machiavelli. This important new interpretation is based on the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli's writings to date, including a detailed examination of all of his major works: The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, and Florentine Histories. It helps explain why readers such as Bacon and Rousseau could see Machiavelli as a fellow moral philosopher, and how they could view The Prince as an ethical and republican text. By identifying a rigorous structure of principles behind Machiavelli's historical examples, the book should also open up fresh debates about his relationship to later philosophers, including Rousseau, Hobbes, and Kant.

Machiavelli's Prince

A New Reading
Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199653631
Category: History
Page: 343
View: 3770

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Why did Machiavelli write the Prince - and why did Church and political authorities find it so threatening? Five hundred years after Machiavelli first told friends that he had written a little work" on principalities, this book tries to answer these questions. It offers a chapter-by-chapter reading of the Prince as a masterwork of ironic writing with a moral purpose: to teach readers how to recognise hidden dangers in political conduct that appears great or praiseworthy, and in misleading promises of quick and easy solutions to their troubles. The Prince uses irony to hint at the problematic character of many princely actions it seems to praise. At the same time, it provokes readers to work out more prudent ways to gain political power and build effective defences. Far from eroding ancient contrasts between good and evil, tyranny and freedom, Machiavelli's unjustly infamous 'little book' suggests that dire consequences ensue when our language and practices fail to distinguishthem. In this lively and engaging new reading, Erica Benner helps readers see beyond surface appearances in the text by learning to identify signs of ironic dissimulation. The book outlines Machiavelli's most important ironic techniques, including the use of normatively coded words to signal praise or blame. Once recognised, these methods provide clues to the Prince's less obvious messages - and help explain why Rousseau and other early readers considered it "the book of republicans.""

How To Read Machiavelli


Author: Maurizio Viroli
Publisher: Granta Books
ISBN: 1783781203
Category: Philosophy
Page: 128
View: 9835

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Men are infamous and detestable who are destroyers of religion, squanderers of kingdoms and republics, and enemies of the virtues.' Niccolo Machiavelli Machiavelli (1459-1527) is one of the most influential modern political thinkers. His works, above all The Prince, The Discourses on Livy, The Florentine Histories and The Art of War, are still passionately discussed and continue to give rise to new visions of political action. Against the trite commonplace that Machiavelli was a teacher of evil who justified political immorality, Maurizio Viroli shows that Machiavaelli was concerned instead with the best way to attain true glory through political action and that his works were inspired by a profound love of republican liberty. Extracts are taken from the whole corpus of Machiavelli's works, including his personal letters.

Machiavelli

A Biography
Author: Miles J. Unger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1416556303
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 416
View: 4625

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Examines the life of the Florentine intellectual, his relationships with contemporaries ranging from Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo to Cesare Borgia and Pope Alexander VI, his philosophies about power, and the legacy of "The Prince."

Machiavelli

A Renaissance Life
Author: Joseph Markulin
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616148063
Category: Fiction
Page: 720
View: 8684

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This epic piece of storytelling brings the world of fifteenth-century Italy to life as it traces Machiavelli’s rise from young boy to controversial political thinker. The often-vilified Renaissance politico and author of The Prince comes to life as a diabolically clever, yet mild mannered and conscientious civil servant. Author Joseph Markulin presents Machiavelli’s life as a true adventure story, replete with violence, treachery, heroism, betrayal, sex, bad popes, noble outlaws, deformed kings, menacing Turks, even more menacing Lutherans, unscrupulous astrologers, untrustworthy dentists—and, of course, forbidden love. While sharing the stage with Florence’s Medici family, the nefarious and perhaps incestuous Borgias, the artists Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the doomed prophet Savonarola, Machiavelli is imprisoned, tortured, and ultimately abandoned. Nevertheless, he remains the sworn enemy of tyranny and a tireless champion of freedom and the republican form of government. Out of the cesspool that was Florentine Renaissance politics, only one name is still uttered today—that of Niccolo Machiavelli. This mesmerizing, vividly told story will show you why his fame endures. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Machiavelli's Politics


Author: Catherine H. Zuckert
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022643480X
Category: Philosophy
Page: 510
View: 6199

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Machiavelli is popularly known as a teacher of tyrants, a key proponent of the unscrupulous “Machiavellian” politics laid down in his landmark political treatise The Prince. Others cite the Discourses on Livy to argue that Machiavelli is actually a passionate advocate of republican politics who saw the need for occasional harsh measures to maintain political order. Which best characterizes the teachings of the prolific Italian philosopher? With Machiavelli’s Politics, Catherine H. Zuckert turns this question on its head with a major reinterpretation of Machiavelli’s prose works that reveals a surprisingly cohesive view of politics. Starting with Machiavelli’s two major political works, Zuckert persuasively shows that the moral revolution Machiavelli sets out in The Prince lays the foundation for the new form of democratic republic he proposes in the Discourses. Distrusting ambitious politicians to serve the public interest of their own accord, Machiavelli sought to persuade them in The Prince that the best way to achieve their own ambitions was to secure the desires and ambitions of their subjects and fellow citizens. In the Discourses, he then describes the types of laws and institutions that would balance the conflict between the two in a way that would secure the liberty of most, if not all. In the second half of her book, Zuckert places selected later works—La Mandragola, The Art of War, The Life of Castruccio Castracani, Clizia, and Florentine Histories—under scrutiny, showing how Machiavelli further developed certain aspects of his thought in these works. In The Art of War, for example, he explains more concretely how and to what extent the principles of organization he advanced in The Prince and the Discourses ought to be applied in modern circumstances. Because human beings act primarily on passions, Machiavelli attempts to show readers what those passions are and how they can be guided to have productive rather than destructive results. A stunning and ambitious analysis, Machiavelli’s Politics brilliantly shows how many conflicting perspectives do inform Machiavelli’s teachings, but that one needs to consider all of his works in order to understand how they cohere into a unified political view. This is a magisterial work that cannot be ignored if a comprehensive understanding of the philosopher is to be obtained.

The Usefulness of the Useless


Author: Nuccio Ordine
Publisher: Paul Dry Books
ISBN: 1589881168
Category: Philosophy
Page: 176
View: 1710

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“A little masterpiece of originality and clarity.”—George Steiner “A necessary book.”—Roberto Saviano “A wonderful little book that will delight you.”—François Busnel International Best Seller / Now in English for the First Time In this thought-provoking and extremely timely work, Nuccio Ordine convincingly argues for the utility of useless knowledge and against the contemporary fixation on utilitarianism—for the fundamental importance of the liberal arts and against the damage caused by their neglect. Inspired by the reflections of great philosophers and writers (e.g., Plato, Dante, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Borges, and Calvino), Ordine reveals how the obsession for material goods and the cult of utility ultimately wither the spirit, jeopardizing not only schools and universities, art, and creativity, but also our most fundamental values—human dignity, love, and truth. Also included is Abraham Flexner’s 1939 essay “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge,” which originally prompted Ordine to write this book. Flexner—a founder and the first director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton—offers an impassioned defense of curiosity-driven research and learning.

Really Existing Nationalisms


Author: Erica Benner
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1786634783
Category: Nationalism and communism
Page: 288
View: 7751

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Really Existing Nationalisms challenges the conventional view that Marx and Engels lacked the theoretical resources needed to understand nationalism. It argues that the two thinkers had a much better explanatory grasp of national phenomena than is usually supposed, and that the reasoning behind their policy towards specific national movements was often subtle and sensitive to the ethical issues at stake. Instead of offering an insular 'Marxian' account of nationalism, the book identifies arguments in Marx and Engels' writings that can help us to think more clearly about national identity and conflict today. These arguments are located in a distinctive theory of politics, which enabled the authors to analyse the relations between nationalism and other social movements and to discriminate between democratic, outward-looking national programmes and authoritarian, ethnocentric nationalism. Erica Benner suggest that this approach improves on accounts which stress the `independent' force of nationality over other concerns, and on those that fail to analyse the complex motives of nationalist actors. She concludes by criticising these 'methodological nationalist' assumptions and 'post-nationalist' views about the future role of nationalism, showing how some of Marx and Engels' arguments can yield a better understanding of the national movements that have emerged in the wake of 'really existing socialism'. This new edition includes a new introduction.

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress


Author: Robert A. Heinlein
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0440001366
Category: Fiction
Page: 400
View: 4197

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For fans of Artemis--The visionary tour de force from "one of the grand masters of science fiction" (The Wall Street Journal). Widely acknowledged as one of Robert A. Heinlein's greatest works, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress rose from the golden age of science fiction to become an undisputed classic--and a touchstone for the philosophy of personal responsibility and political freedom. A revolution on a lunar penal colony--aided by a self-aware supercomputer--provides the framework for a story of a diverse group of men and women grappling with the ever-changing definitions of humanity, technology, and free will--themes that resonate just as strongly today as they did when the novel was first published. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress gives readers an extraordinary, thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of Robert A. Heinlein, who, even now, "shows us where the future is" (Tom Clancy).

An English Governess in the Great War

The Secret Brussels Diary of Mary Thorp
Author: Sophie De Schaepdrijver,Tammy M. Proctor
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190276703
Category: HISTORY
Page: 288
View: 533

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"Mary Thorp, an English governess working for a Belgian-Russian family in German-occupied Brussels, kept a secret war diary from September 1916 to January 1919. This long-forgotten diary sheds light on an important aspect of the First World War: civilian life under military occupation in a transnational conflict"--

Between Eternities

And Other Writings
Author: Javier Marias
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 1101972106
Category: Literary Collections
Page: 256
View: 1291

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A new, exhilarating collection of critical and personal writings--spanning more than twenty years of work--from the internationally renowned author of The Infatuations and A Heart So White. A Vintage Books Original. Javier Marías is a tireless examiner of the world around us: essayist, novelist, translator, voracious reader, enthusiastic debunker of pretension, and vigorous polymath. He is able to discover what many of us fail to notice or have never put into words, and he keeps looking long after most of us have turned away. This new collection of essays--by turns literary, philosophical, and autobiographical--journeys from the crumbling canals of Venice to the wide horizons of the Wild West, and Marías captures each new vista with razor-sharp acuity and wit. He explores, with characteristic relish, subjects ranging from soccer to classic cinema, from comic books and toy soldiers to mortality and memory, from "The Most Conceited of Cities" to "Why Almost No One Can Be Trusted," making each brilliantly and inimitably his own. Trenchant and wry, subversive and penetrating, Between Eternities is a collection of dazzling intellectual curiosity, offering a window into the expansive mind of the man so often said to be Spain's greatest living writer.

Montaigne

A Life
Author: Philippe Desan
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400883393
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 832
View: 6292

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One of the most important writers and thinkers of the Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) helped invent a literary genre that seemed more modern than anything that had come before. But did he do it, as he suggests in his Essays, by retreating to his chateau, turning his back on the world, and stoically detaching himself from his violent times? In this definitive biography, Philippe Desan, one of the world's leading authorities on Montaigne, overturns this longstanding myth by showing that Montaigne was constantly concerned with realizing his political ambitions—and that the literary and philosophical character of the Essays largely depends on them. The most comprehensive and authoritative biography of Montaigne yet written, this sweeping narrative offers a fascinating new picture of his life and work. As Desan shows, Montaigne always considered himself a political figure and he conceived of each edition of the Essays as an indispensable prerequisite to the next stage of his public career. He lived through eight civil wars, successfully lobbied to be raised to the nobility, and served as mayor of Bordeaux, special ambassador, and negotiator between Henry III and Henry of Navarre. It was only toward the very end of Montaigne’s life, after his political failure, that he took refuge in literature. But, even then, it was his political experience that enabled him to find the right tone for his genre. In this essential biography, we discover a new Montaigne—caught up in the events of his time, making no separation between private and public life, and guided by strategy first in his words and silences. Neither candid nor transparent, but also not yielding to the cynicism of his age, this Montaigne lends a new depth to the Montaigne of literary legend.

Thoughts on Machiavelli


Author: Leo Strauss
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226777023
Category: Philosophy
Page: 348
View: 4838

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Leo Strauss argued that the most visible fact about Machiavelli's doctrine is also the most useful one: Machiavelli seems to be a teacher of wickedness. Strauss sought to incorporate this idea in his interpretation without permitting it to overwhelm or exhaust his exegesis of The Prince and the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy. "We are in sympathy," he writes, "with the simple opinion about Machiavelli [namely, the wickedness of his teaching], not only because it is wholesome, but above all because a failure to take that opinion seriously prevents one from doing justice to what is truly admirable in Machiavelli: the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech." This critique of the founder of modern political philosophy by this prominent twentieth-century scholar is an essential text for students of both authors.

Niccolo's Smile

A Biography of Machiavelli
Author: Maurizio Viroli
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780374528003
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 2298

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A compelling portrait of the Italian philosopher who coined the phrase "the ends justify the means" looks at the man's surprising career and relationships, delving deeply into the personal history that enlivened his masterpiece, The Prince. Reprint.

Curl To Win

Expert Advice to Improve Your Game
Author: Russ Howard
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 144343762X
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 192
View: 4785

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The ultimate guide to improving your game—from Canada's most celebrated curler Whether you're stepping into the hack for the first time, looking to improve your delivery or trying to better understand strategy, Curl to Win will help you take your game to the next level. Renowned for his ability to blend the mental and physical aspects of curling as well as his innovative and effective strategies, Russ Howard has written a practical handbook that no curler should be without. Russ draws on his more than three decades of experience as a winning player and coach to explain: Basics—start off on the right foot by picking the right equipment and really understanding how to play the game Delivery—improve your accuracy and consistency with gold-medal techniques and tips Sweeping—sweep effectively by avoiding common mistakes Strategy—form a winning game plan through strategies like making the most of the free guard zone Drills—practise like a pro with Russ's own drills for sweeping, delivery and ice reading Tips and tricks—learn how to match rocks, have a winning mindset, yell "Hurry hard!" and much more Fully illustrated with step-by-step photographs and diagrams, Curl to Win will help you get more out of your game.

Persian Fire


Author: Tom Holland
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0307386988
Category: History
Page: 464
View: 1891

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A "fresh...thrilling" (The Guardian) account of the Graeco-Persian Wars. In the fifth century B.C., a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history. Tom Holland’s brilliant study of these critical Persian Wars skillfully examines a conflict of critical importance to both ancient and modern history.

The Locomotive of War

Money, Empire, Power, and Guilt
Author: Peter Clarke
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 1620406624
Category: History
Page: 432
View: 2462

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An innovative exploration of the origins, impact, and consequences of the First and Second World Wars, from Peter Clarke, one of our foremost historians. "War is the locomotive of history," claimed Trotsky, a remark often thought to acknowledge the opportunity that the First World War offered the Bolsheviks to seize power in Russia 1917. Here, Peter Clarke broadens the application of this provocative suggestion in order to explore how war, as much as socioeconomic forces or individuals, is the primary mover of history. Twentieth-century warfare, based on new technologies and vast armies, saw the locomotive power of war heightened to an unprecedented level. Through the unique prism of this vast tragedy, Peter Clarke examines some of the most influential figures of the day, on both sides of the Atlantic. In Britain, David Lloyd George, without the strains of war, would never have become prime minister in 1916; Winston Churchill, except for the war crisis of 1940, would have been unlikely to be recalled to office; and John Maynard Keynes likewise would hardly have seen his own economic ideas and authority so suddenly accepted. In different ways, the shadow of the great nineteenth-century Liberal leader Gladstone hung over these men - as it did also over Woodrow Wilson in the United States, seeing his presidency transformed as he faced new issues of war and peace. And it was Franklin Roosevelt who inherited much of Wilson's unfulfilled agenda, with a second chance to implement it with greater success. By following the trajectories of these influential lives, Peter Clarke illuminates many crucial issues of the period: not only leadership and the projection of authority, but also military strategy, war finance and the mobilization of the economy in democratic regimes. And the moral dimension of liberalism, with its Gladstonian focus on guilt, is never forgotten. The Locomotive of War is a fascinating examination of the interplay between key figures in the context of unprecedented all-out warfare, with new insight on the dynamics of history in an extraordinary period.

The Economics of Airport Operations


Author: James Peoples,John Bitzan
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
ISBN: 1787144976
Category: Transportation
Page: 456
View: 3499

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This volume examines the role that airports play in economic development and land values, the regulation and economic efficiency of airports, airport pricing and competition, and the role played by airports in influencing airline operations and networks.